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2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the second largest source of development finance in the Asia-Pacific region, next to the World Bank Group. In the last five decades, the ADB has moved more than USD 250 billion in a bid to promote economic growth, facilitate regional trade integration, and expand opportunities. However, for many civil society groups, social movements, and communities affected by ADB financing, the institution has been an agent of inequitable development, fostering inequalities and mis-governance. The ADB has enjoyed the highest degree of immunity as guaranteed by its own charter. This means that it is immune to legal liabilities and accountability to national laws for problematic investments, faulty policy advice, violation of people’s rights and livelihoods, and destruction of the environment.

Focus has long been researching and sharing analyses of the negative impacts of ADB operations, calling for an end to the ADB’s immunity and lack of accountability. In 2017, we join people’s movements and civil society in building a region-wide challenge to the ADB’s immunity

On the occasion of the 50th Annual Governors’ Meeting of the ADB which is happening in Yokohama, Japan from May 4-7, 2017, Focus on the Global South is releasing this special newsletter highlighting the Asian people’s resistance against the Bank. Earlier writings and materials on the ADB produced by Focus can be found here:

Read the Newsletter